X Factor returns for seventh series
X Factor returns for its seventh series with its trademark mixture of the tone-deaf, the talented and a host of sob stories.
First contestant was house-husband Stephen Hunter whose mixture of soulful vocals and dancing last seen at a 1980s school disco set the tone for the rest of the show. Despite missing his cue, the 41-year-old - who promised to "give it everything" - got the thumbs-up from all four judges.
Among the potential stars already identified was Gamu Nhengu, an 18-year-old student who left her native Zimbabwe for Scotland five years ago. Her version of Katrina and the Waves' Walking On Sunshine wowed the judges with Simon praising her "old school jazz voice".
Dannii Minogue, who took time out to have a baby, will rejoin the show but her place was taken at the auditions by a series of guest judges including former Natalie Imbruglia, Pixie Lott, Katy Perry and Nicole Scherzinger.
Cheryl admitted she enjoyed the support of the guest judges, saying: "It's lovely for me that there are other women on the panel because I couldn't be sitting between those two miserable so-and-sos on my own. I love having other women with us."
During the news series Simon Cowell brands Cheryl Cole a "brat".
Sparks fly between the pair as they exchange snide remarks, and at one point Simon even puts out a saucer of milk for his "catty" colleague.
After Cheryl tells one disappointed group they should consider a career in children's television, Simon sarcastically demands: "Have we got any cream?". When he catches her pulling faces at him, he tells her: "You're a childish little brat."
The pair also exchange words backstage.
- The new series of The X Factor begins at 7.30pm on Saturday on ITV1.